Families Fear of Complaining - By Stuart (PFV)


During my two years with PFV, I have received numerous emails regarding complaining to Prison Governors. Many families fear making a complaint in case their partners/family members receive the brunt of it. I have never come across a story in which a prison has admitted any wrong-doing therefore is it better to keep your mouth shut and your pen hidden away? When I was in prison, my missus made a complaint about missing property that she handed in which disappeared in to thin air. She handed it in at the property desk, she witnessed a prison officer booking it in, so where did my items go? Obviously they were within the prison vicinity but I never received them. The total cost of the items came to £92.00 leaving me without my clothing and footwear and my missus out of pocket. She made a complaint and was told that I had to fill in an application which I did. I still heard nothing and was still without my items. My missus made a further complaint and was basically shunned. So that was £92.00 of her own hard earned money down the toilet and nothing ever materialized from it. On the wing one particular day, a prison officer came up to me and told me that my missus had put a complaint in to the Governor and that it was best she let the issue drop. A nice little bit of bullying there I would say! But why shouldn't families make complaints if they are left out of pocket due to incompetence prison staff? The items were indeed lost within the prison so whose fault is it? It is obviously the prison's fault! If I put some luggage on to a coach and it goes missing, it is the coach's fault. If luggage goes missing at the airport, it's not my fault when I checked everything in the correct way. So therefore why didn't my missus get a refund from the prison? What would have happened if my property went missing a second time? Would my missus complain again only to be fobbed off by the prison? Could she even be bothered complaining? From my own experience, I think families of prisoners get a rough deal with the prison service especially when they are often bullied not to put a complaint in - or else.